Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bob Dylan Christmas Album

It is a little known fact that in years past there was a federal law that required popular TV shows to put out Christmas Albums. That is the only explanation for things like "The Brady Bunch Christmas Album" or any of those albums by James Kirk — errr — I mean William Shatner (and as far as that goes, Leonard Limoy).

Thank goodness that law is no longer enforced. Can you imagine the cast of Law & Order doing a Christmas Album. (Although Jerry Orbach was in “Carnival,” “Promises, Promises” (for which he won a Tony Award), “42nd Street” and “Chicago” on broadway and sang “Try to Remember” in the off-off-Broadway hit “The Fantasticks.”) Or an "American Idol" Christmas album — wait — that might work — I'm calling my agent right now. Gotta fly out to LA and get on that project — now — where was I — oh yeah:

So, it was with some degree of surprise that I learned that the poet laureate of rock and roll, the great (but not his voice) singer and songwriter Bob Dylan (Robert Zimmerman) has a new Christmas album.

Gene Autry's "Here Comes Santa Claus" is chortled and laced with the sound of sleigh bells. "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is a tableau of a Minnesota nativity scene. "Little Drummer Boy" evokes fruitcake harmonies, majorette twirlers, and snare drums. Dylan finds a husky pathos in "The Christmas Blues" that would've made Dean Martin cringe, and  serves a fruity Hawaiian punch with "Christmas Island". He gets himself and the band riled up on "Must Be Santa", where a wacky polka chases itself into what could be an Israeli folk dance, complete with a swipe at a recent American president. (— Thank you RENARDO BARDEN for that paragraph — I actually haven't heard the album yet.)

I can hear the sleigh bells now and smell the chestnuts roasting. Ummmm, chestnuts!

Originally written August 15, 2011.

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